This ergonomic keyboard that I’m reviewing is the Kinesis Advantage Contour Keyboard with Cherry Brown MX Switches, which was purchased on June 15 2013 at $269 USD. There are some slight difficulties of getting use to but in return rewards me some comfort in typing. I’ll log them here as I experience the keyboard. The model I have here is the KB500USB-BLK assembled in USA by Kinesis, Bothell WA. www.kinesis.com
Kinesis Advantage Photos
Unboxing-1: The keyboard is protected with an semi-open cardboard structure.
Design-1: The black beauty with contoured shape spacing the keys for ergonomic purposes. As you may have noticed, there are additional buttons at the thumb area. This means you will not be just using your thumb for spacebar but also for enter, Page Up/Down, CTRL, ALT. Very unusual experience!
- This keyboard isn’t recommend for gamers or avid shortcut users unless you are full-time typist without using much shortcut such as home, end, copy, paste, cut, undo, redo as the CTRL, ALT buttons are in a weird position which requires you to use your thumbs. The arrow keys needs to be remap for gaming purpose.
- The keypad is very far and if you want to switch into numeric typing mode, you need to access the keypad button followed by the numeric num lock which is a lot of hassle. However, if you can train your fingers to type numbers on the top row keys, this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Also, after using this product, I felt that this should be priced lower at 100 USD instead of 269 or 300 USD as its way too expensive for casual users to try them out.
- At a premium price of 150 USD and lower, Kinesis should provide additional accessories such as the Footpad and external numeric keypad.
Below is a list of pros and cons of Kinesis Advantage Contoured Keyboard after using it for a week.
- Very comfortable compared to regular keyboard after you get the hang of it as in you can type the keys on Kinesis Advantage without ever looking at the keys. With a regular keyboard, when you type, it hits solid hard bottom whereas on a Kinesis, it avoids that by having the keys position deeper into the keyboard for the long fingers to peck.
- Allows remapping of the keys to other areas. For me, I remap the CTRL key to my thumb so I can perform quick CTRL+C/V/X/F shortcut keys on Microsoft Word.
- There is no tiny bump on the F and J keys, making it difficult for me as a touch typist to know the correct position for my fingers on the QWERTY layout. However this is solved by having the middle finger detecting the deepest curve in the keyboard.
- The function keys above the numeric keys are made of rubber buttons. I would prefer them to be regular keyboard keys.
- The arrow keys are split into both hands where the left/right are located on the left hand whereas up/down are located on the right hand. However this can be fix my remapping the keys which I have yet to find the perfect position to place them.
- Numeric keypad can be accessed via the embedded layer. However, accessing those number requires to press the Keypad button followed by Numeric Keypad Button. Compared to a regular keyboard, you can directly type it on the number buttons. One of the solution to this issue is to get an external number keypad and attached at the side to avoid this hassle. That would cost an additional 10-15 USD.